BOSTON — A judge has placed a Connecticut girl in the permanent custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families in a legal dispute involving different medical diagnoses by two hospitals.
Massachusetts Juvenile Court Judge Joseph Johnston in Boston issued the ruling Tuesday in the case of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier of West Hartford, Conn., whose parents sought custody. A Pelletier family friend says they’re devastated by the ruling.
The Massachusetts DCF took emergency custody of Justina last year.
Tufts Medical Center had treated Justina for mitochondrial disease, a disorder that affects cellular energy production.
But Boston Children’s Hospital later diagnosed her problems as psychiatric. When Justina’s parents, Linda and Lou Pelletier, rejected the new diagnosis and tried to take her back to Tufts, the Massachusetts DCF took custody of the girl.